Children have a lot of pressure on them to be perfect. This is in terms of relationships with friends and family, as well as development and health. This pressure comes from a good place – that parents want the best for their children – but the obsession with having the perfect child can sometimes make it so that a parent will miss signs of a disorder or problem that could lead to a diagnosis at a young age, and therefore a more beneficial life for parent and child. Getting a diagnosis at the right age means that treatment can start and a child will not be held back later on in life in whatever it is they choose to do. This is often the case with Sensory Processing Disorder.
What is Sensory Processing Disorder?
Sensory Processing Disorder is something that affects many children. It is commonly misdiagnosed as an anxiety disorder, depression, ADD, ADHD, etc as there is not much awareness about this disorder around the world, though it does appear to be rather prominent in today’s world. Simply put, Sensory Processing Disorder is when the signals between what a child is sensing and how s/he responds gets confused.
For example, a normal child would be able to enter a loud environment and understand the conversation. They’d tune out the hub bub and focus on the conversation they are having. A child with Sensory Process Disorder wouldn’t be able to do that, because the sensory environment (the hub bub) cannot be tuned out in order to listen to his/her companion. The brain cannot send signals to the body/mind as to what to do in the situation.
What are the causes of Sensory Processing Disorder?
The main causes of Sensory Processing Disorder are still being researched, but scientists believe that sometimes this disorder can be inherited. If properly diagnosed in a mother-to-be, or from another member of the family, doctors can be on the lookout for signs of Sensory Processing Disorder from a young age and get the child the treatment they need if the need arises for it.
Other than inheriting it, doctors and scientists believe that Sensory Process Disorder can be linked with prenatal complications or certain environmental situations. The exact cause, as mentioned, is still to be discovered in the future.
What is the treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder?
Many doctors misdiagnose Sensory Processing Disorder, as mentioned, and treat it with medication that doesn’t help those suffering from it at all, it just masks that symptoms and makes life even more difficult for those children that grow up into confused and frustrated adults.
Proper diagnosis is crucial for those with Sensory Processing Disorder. When diagnosed, children best benefit from a occupational therapy, which is a kind of therapy in which you work through something by doing something. Cryptic, but true. In children, this usually takes place by playing. They are put into certain kinds of play structures designed specifically for Sensory Processing Disorder. This allows them to learn new skills that help them deal with their disorders while also understanding what their disorder is. Occupational Therapy allows them to understand their disorder in a unique way that helps them come to terms with it in their own time and way. This can help them be stronger and more adjusted as they age.
The different types of Sensory Processing Disorder
Under the umbrella diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder, there are three main kinds that children are born with or develop in the early stages in their life. Depending on which diagnosis, the treatment varies to make sure that the needs of the child are being met properly. The three main kinds are:
- Sensory Modulation Disorder
- Sensory Based Motor Disorder
- Sensory Discrimination Disorder
If a child has Sensory Processing Disorder, one of these three specifications will be given to them so that proper treatment can be done for their benefit.
Sensory modulation disorder is when a child does not respond correctly to a situation or object. The child can either under- or over-respond to it. Examples of this include social awkwardness, from not being able to be part of a crowd without getting overwhelmed, to not feeling pain when a hot object is pressed to the skin. Children with this kind of disorder often are anxious or on edge, because they have a hard time understanding the world around them. Children with this kind of disorder often find that they get misdiagnosed with anxiety or depression when not properly tested.
Sensory based motor disorder is when a child has a hard time with large or small motor movements. This can be seen in depth perception, properly holding a pencil, speaking correctly, etc. There are vary kinds. Children with this disorder often are clumsy and don’t like things where fine movements are required, such as dancing or board games.
Sensory discrimination disorder is the kind of disorder that often gets mislabeled as ADD or ADHD. It means a child cannot figure out which stimuli to ignore around them, meaning that it is hard for the child to focus on one task. They are not able to zone into a project or work with distractions around them.
No matter how you look at it, you have to admit that Sensory Processing Disorder is a serious condition that causes unneeded stress and frustration for children and adults of all ages. When properly diagnosed, treatment can be offered for the child, but that does not happen often, because many doctors believe that this condition is just another version of anxiety or ADHD. It is frustrating for parents and children alike to run into this problem. Proper diagnosis is crucial for development and happiness in the child, and comfort and good health of the family as a whole. Not often heard of, Sensory Processing Disorder is affecting many children around the world, and the number continues to rise as new babies are born. Diagnosis and treatment is crucial for this disorder.
Alternative Treatment for Sensory Processing Disorder
Sensory Processing Disorders impact many children around the world, from one country to another, one financial status to another. Like ADHD, the causes of this potentially destructive disorder are unknown, though some scientists believe that it comes from problems in the digestive and/or the immune system. There does seem to be a link between children with SPD and these issues, as many have nutritional problems and sickness problems through their life. No conclusions have been made yet, however, and the research is still unclear. Either way, time will tell.
If your child has SPD, odds are that you are looking for a treatment option . Many children receive occupational therapy with added SPD benefits so that they learn to understand and come to terms with their disorder. This therapy helps them flourish in life and make the best out of a potentially negative situation. Treatment is important, but many parents are finding that it isn’t enough. They’re wondering there are alternative options to treatment for children with SPD. The good news is that there are two great options to help with many of the symptoms, including the health-related ones.
For reasons that scientists are still trying to understand, children living with SPD tend to have a high amount of allergies that make them more immune to sicknesses and problems related to health. Additionally, there tends to be higher levels of heavy metal in the body, requiring chelation therapy for many of them. These conditions cannot be cured or go away, but there are herbs that can be taken to minimize the side effects of both SPD and chelation therapy.
For example, when children undergo chelation therapy, some herbalists recommend herbs that are intended to promote the function of the kidneys and liver. These organs are often negatively impacted during treatment, so this will help keep their function up to speed, and your child won’t experience as many side effects to the therapy.
For those children who have issues with the digestive system, herbs such as garlic, licorice, and slippery elm can help boost the workings of the system so that they aren’t as affected, and they can experience a better quality of life and enjoyment in food and all things related to it. For those children who find that their immune system is hurting, echinacea and astragalus can help battle infections, colds, respiratory systems, etc. These are just some of the great examples that are out there for herbs.
It is always recommended that a doctor be consulted before herbs are added to diet, as they can interact with medication or other systems if taken improperly or in unhealthy amounts. These, when used correctly, can really help those children who need it.
Massage therapy can have great effects for children and adults that are living with SPD. This is because massage therapy is great for physical, emotional and mental stress, so SPD fits right into the category for its help and benefits.
Think about massage therapy in itself for a moment, and you’ll see how it all fits together. Massage therapy comes in many forms. It can be deep tissue massage for muscle pain, light massage therapy in targeted areas for local pain and stress relief, and light touches on pressure points that alleviate pressure and discomfort. All of these forms of massage therapy can help those with chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and motor movement problems.
If you know something about SPD, many of the symptoms fall into the categories just mentioned. So, whether it is a child or an adult receiving treatment, massage therapy can be really helpful for them.
It is a great alternative treatment if medication or occupational therapy isn’t doing the trick. In some cases it can even be combined with other treatment plans, depending on the opinion of the doctor and the need of the child or adult. It can help make their quality of life better, which is all that many want in the end.
The truth of it is that there is no cure for SPD right now, though researchers are hard at work to see if they can understand its origin entirely so that a cure can therefore be found from it. So, children and adults have to find ways to cope that deal with acceptance, controlling the symptoms, and finding ways to live a relatively normal life. These two options should help that come to life.